New Motor break-in/What does oil look like? - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old Oct 3rd, 02, 04:07 PM Thread Starter
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I just finished breaking in my fresh rebuild 396. What should the oil look like after break in? It looks kind of grey. I put a magnet in the oil and didn't have any metal to stick to the magnet. Is all this goopy looking stuff from the moly lube and assembly lube? Can someone describe to me what there oil looked like when you first change it after a rebuild? Everything went almost as planned on the break in, except I started the car about 3 times, (20 seconds or less each time) to find out that my new Edelbrock fuel pump was not working. New pump on and varooom....for about 15 mins. Set timing again, adjusted the carb to get it to idle and then road test for 5 miles and then parked it. I kept the RPM down below 3800 and it ran great, no misses or stumbles. I was just concerned at how the oil look when I changed it.

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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old Oct 3rd, 02, 04:24 PM
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I'm no expert, so take this with a grain of salt. When I changed the oil in my wifes Camaro SS-396 after it's rebuild, it looked like normal oil. Cleaner than a typical oil change. but normal.
The only time I've seen grey oil was when it was mixed with water, but that looked like grey paint, not just a little grey.

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[This message has been edited by 3SuperSports (edited 10-03-2002).]
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old Oct 3rd, 02, 05:28 PM
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Moly paste will do that. Not usualy a problem as long as you change the oil/filter after the cam break in procedure. If you have water in the oil, you have a problem. Ususaly comes out like a milkshake. Keep an eye on the dipstick and change it again after 500 miles or so and that is it.


[This message has been edited by stingr69 (edited 10-03-2002).]
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old Oct 4th, 02, 01:59 AM
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The grey is normal, it's just moly lube. You're fine as long as you changed the oil and filter.

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old Oct 4th, 02, 09:11 AM
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I would add that it may be worth checking your valve adjustment. If you find any that are LOOSE I would meadure the lobe lift to verify that a lobe isnt going flat. Dont mean to be negative but better safe than sorry. Believe me. and let us know what you find

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old Oct 5th, 02, 03:20 AM
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Sorry to rehash an old subject, but this reminds me of the cam break-in procedure. 2000 RPM for 15-20 mins. It doesn't have much to do with the OP's topic other than its new engine related. I was discussing 2k/20 with a friend and he passed this on to me.

I alwasy thought the 2k/20 break-in was only for facing on flat tappet / cams. I learned that this procedure is also recommended for roller cams, but for a different reason.

The break-in also allows the valve springs to heat up and get their 'final temper'.

The springs will get hot from their own internal friction. A head builder recently told me he had installed oil restrictors and cooked the springs. He said the motor ran crappy. When the pulled the valves, you could almost compress the spring with your finger. So they can get quite hot.


[This message has been edited by dnult (edited 10-05-2002).]
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old Oct 5th, 02, 03:45 PM
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I agree about the moly if it were a cam dieing the oil would have particles that were metallic in it.

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old Oct 5th, 02, 08:15 PM
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The oil in my 355 was grey after break in. Changed it and filter immediatly. Drove 500 miles, changed oil again. It was clean, and never had any further discoloration after initial break in.

As for the roller cam 'break-in', I don't buy 2k/20 minutes to 'break-in' your springs. They should heat cycle plenty while you set your idle/floats/mixture/timing.

79' Z28...
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